Bill requiring body cams on police named in honor of Kian

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ACTS OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — A bill requiring police officers to wear body cameras during operations was filed Wednesday in honor of 17-year old Kian Delos Santos.

House Bill 6250, or "The Kian delos Santos Body Cam Act of 2017," was filed by Representative Aniceto Bertiz III of the ACTS-OFW party-list.

"I file this bill in honor of Kian and other minors who perished in police operations so that their untimely deaths will not be in vain," a statement from Bertiz said.

The bill allocates an initial funding of P200 million pesos for the cameras. Bertiz claims the technology update will help protect civil liberties.

"If the Caloocan City police raid team had body cameras, we would have had clear video evidence now of how 17-year-old Grade 11 public school student Kian delos Santos died and see who were responsible," Bertiz added.

A similar bill was filed by Representative Ruffy Biazon of Muntinlupa City on Tuesday.

The move to have policemen wear body cameras has gained support among lawmakers and human rights activists amid the questionable circumstances surrounding dozens of deaths of drug suspects.

"That could be one solution to this problem," said Representative Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna.

"Mabuti nga may mga CCTV yung barangay minsan, like in the case of Kian. Eh kung wala 'yon? You'll just have to say, kasi nanlaban," Zarate told CNN Philippines' "The Source."

[Translation: That could be one solution to this problem. It's good that barangays have CCTVs, like in Kian's case. What if there was none? You'll just have to say, he fought back.]

Zarate said legislators should find ways, either through amending present laws or enacting new ones to protect human rights.

"(H)anggang ngayon may problema talaga ang ating state security apparatuses when it comes to human rights. Sa tingin nila pag suspek ka, wala nang human rights. Dapat bedrock natin ang paggalang sa karapatang pantao, especially in this case," he added.

[Translation: Up until now there's a problem with our state security apparatuses when it comes to human rights. They think if you're a suspect, you don't have human rights. Our respect for human rights is supposed to our bedrock, especially in this case.]

 

Kian was one of the 82 killed in police's anti-drug operations last week in Bulacan and Metro Manila, in what seems to be the deadliest week in the administration's war on drugs. Police allege that the Grade 11 student was a drug courier.

His death was condemned by President Rodrigo Duterte, who said cops behind Delos Santos' slay will be jailed.

CNN Philippines' multi-platform writer Regine Cabato contributed to this report.